Spiders in Mexican grapes may change import rules

06 August 2015

Import requirements for Mexican grapes may change following the detection of a black widow spider by a member of the public in some Mexican red seedless grapes.

More than 20 spiders were subsequently detected in imported Mexican grapes around the country.

MPI has an investigation underway and the results may see changes to the import health standard requirements. However it is too early to confirm what course of action MPI will take.

In the case of Mexico grapes, current requirement is for MPI officers (based in Arizona) to verify the fruit is free of pests, as certified by the Mexican government.

If regulated pests (including spiders) are detected, the consignment is not allowed to be exported. MPI has been fumigating all imports of this season’s Mexican grapes at the border since the discovery of the spiders.